Alice Cooper
Love It To Death


4.0
excellent

Review

by Conor USER (12 Reviews)
October 11th, 2009 | 31 replies


Release Date: 1971 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Now this is more like the Alice Cooper we all know

LepreCon Presents: Rock Legends
Legend In Focus: Vincent Furnier- ALICE COOPER
Part Three: CUZ I'M EIGHTEEN!


Three records into their career and the Alice Cooper band were still struggling for critical and commercial acceptance, which had eluded them on their previous two efforts. Pretties For You and Easy Action were by-products of a dying era, bringing nothing new or significant to the table of trippy psychedelic rock where the band had attempted to find their niche. While these were not terrible albums, a fresh breath of air was needed if this discovery of legendary satirical rocker Frank Zappa were to gain any mainstream credibility. As far as the masses had been concerned up to this point, the Alice Cooper band was just another group of rebellious teens with little more than an unorthodox stage act going for them.

The Love It To Death Lineup Was:

Vincent Damon Furnier- lead vocals
Glen Buxton- lead guitar
Michael Bruce- rhythm guitar and keyboards
Dennis Dunaway- bass guitar
Neal Smith- drums

Love It To Death was, in a sense, the make-or-break album for the band. Still signed to Zappa’s Straight Label, Alice Cooper were not ready to give up just about yet but the pressure to get a successful release was to be their blessing in disguise. The band needed focus and their motivation came to them in the form of new producer Bob Ezrin. The first of his many collaborations with Alice Cooper- both the band and Vincent Furnier’s solo years- Ezrin was largely responsible for the band’s shift in sound from 60’s hippy acid rock to the 70’s hard rock that they would come to epitomise. As such, what resulted was a more straight-up hard rock album than the psychedelic dabblings of Alice Cooper’s previous efforts. The critical and commercial reception that followed showed that this was a very, very good change for the band indeed.

The first thing one notices when listening to the record is the sound and production. Gone is the primitive dry and scratchy sound of old, Ezrin’s excellent production skills cleaning up the messy bits but allowing for the rawness and aggression of Alice Cooper’s songwriting to be conveyed unperturbed. A listener familiar with Alice Cooper’s later works will find themselves in much more familiar territory, and it can be argued that this was the beginning of the shock rock Alice Cooper that had such a major influence on the heavy metal movement that was not to truly kick into high gear for another decade. It was an album ahead of its time and could be best described as a heavier-rocking Beatles meeting The Doors in a dark alley.

The music is much more guitar-oriented than anything the band had released thus far. While the keyboards still played its role, gone for the most part were the psychedelic passages that were entirely dependent upon trippy keyboard effects, and in their place are some truly rocking guitar lines. Thanks to Ezrin’s better production, everyone has his chance to shine as each guitar line and bass pattern is quite distinguishable. The greatest thing of all, however, is the band’s new found knack for consistency. There is not a single bad track to be found on this album, with each song from start to finish having different, interesting aspects and ideas of their own.

Opener Caught In a Dream is a solid 70’s garage rock tune and sets the scene for the rest of the album. The catchy rhythms and quirky lyrics help the song do its job of hooking the listener, making it the perfect introduction to the record and could have very well been a hit single. The band’s openness to new ideas is also evident in the appropriately titled tracks Hallowed Be My Name and Second Coming, which unsurprisingly deal with religious themes. Also to be found on the record is the iconic classic Cooper cut, the awesome I’m Eighteen. This coming-of-age anthem remains to this day one of Alice Cooper’s best known and most well loved tracks, and has been capably covered by thrash metallers Anthrax, showing just how big an influence Alice Cooper have been on the heavy rock scene. The song Long Way To Go also has obvious connotations for the band in this respect.

However, not every song depends on hard rocking guitars to deliver its adrenaline rush, as things slow down a bit for the nine-minute epic Black Juju. Very Doors-like in sound, Black Juju makes use of the band’s psychedelia influences, only this time in a more focused fashion. One cannot help but to jump or at least shiver as vocalist Furnier suddenly and repeatedly screams “WAKE UP!” in the abrupt ending to the song’s subdued mid-section.

Love It To Death definitely has the makings of a classic album, but only just about fails to hit that mark. The reason for this is the last two tracks. The eerie Ballad of Dwight Fry and the obscure Sun Arise, while not being bad tracks at all, certainly plod a bit in comparison to previous tracks. But I did mention earlier that the album is quite consistent, and these tracks actually do very little to mar that fact.

Unlike their first two albums, Love It To Death was a critical and commercial success for the Alice Cooper band, so much so that by the second pressing of the record they were signed to big-time label Warner Bros. It was the break they had been waiting for and it was undoubtedly deserved. A string of brilliant albums followed before the band fragmented, but this was the true beginning of a major heavy rock legend that nobody could have predicted. After a shaky start, Alice Cooper were now unstoppable. And we all know where things went after this.

To Be Continued In Part Four: Killer...



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user ratings (215)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
whatduffhuck7 (5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
LepreCon
October 11th 2009


4093 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

And I'm back. Things have been a little hectic for me, as I've explained to some of you, so I've been unable to post any reviews in a while. It'll still be sporadic for another while but the next one should be up within the week.

Album owns face

Nagrarok
October 11th 2009


8246 Comments


Ah, there is the next entry. Great work mate, some minor grammar issues here and there, just give it another read-through and it'll be fine. Some other things, which are not necessarily bad but you might want to change:

1. I'd put the line-up either after the introduction of the album or at the end of the review. Also, change 'is' to 'was', as this line-up is no longer existing.
2. I would put genres in capital letters.
3 You could italize the song titles instead of balding them, reads nicer but more a matter of personal preference.

But hey, I'll still pos. My last GNR review is comin up soon today, btw.


Fugue
October 11th 2009


7353 Comments


Good review Conor, bit dodgy in places but some good content. I can't say I've ever listened to any Alice Cooper outside Poison but this review has definately perked my interest. Good job.

LepreCon
October 11th 2009


4093 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah it's been a while since I reviewed so I knew I'd be a little rusty (I had to read my other Cooper reviews to see how I'd done them xD) but thanks anyway, I'll take the advice on board and thanks for the pos' too.

Nagrarok
October 11th 2009


8246 Comments


Oh mistake on my part Conor, I meant I wouldn't put genres with capital letters.

LepreCon
October 11th 2009


4093 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh okay, no problem, fixing now

Nagrarok
October 11th 2009


8246 Comments


And what would be the best starting point for Cooper? I am inclined to check them/him out as it seems fitting since you're doing the discography.

LepreCon
October 11th 2009


4093 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

There are many good starting points for Cooper. This one would be one of them. Other possibilities are Welcome To My Nightmare, Billion Dollar Babies, Trash (seeing as everyone knows the song Poison off that one) and also his new one, Along Came A Spider is a pretty good place to start if you're not too bothered about following the 'Steven' storyline.

Nagrarok
October 11th 2009


8246 Comments


Along is the only one I've heard so far. And I've got no idea what this Steven storyline might be all about.

LepreCon
October 11th 2009


4093 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Steven is a serial killer character that Alice created and has been a central character of Cooper's concept album Welcome To My Mightmare and has been referenced on his albums Hey Stoopid, The Last Temptation and at the end of Along Came A Spider, which could mean that Steven is reappearing in a future album

shindip
October 11th 2009


3536 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review. Album is pretty good.

LepreCon
October 11th 2009


4093 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks, and yes, it is

Nagrarok
October 11th 2009


8246 Comments


There are many good starting points for Cooper. This one would be one of them. Other possibilities are Welcome To My Nightmare, Billion Dollar Babies, Trash (seeing as everyone knows the song Poison off that one) and also his new one, Along Came A Spider is a pretty good place to start if you're not too bothered about following the 'Steven' storyline.

You know what, I'm going for School's Out, since I like the title track much better than Poison.

shindip
October 11th 2009


3536 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

^ Nagrarok, get Billion Dollar Babies. its by far his best

Nagrarok
October 11th 2009


8246 Comments


Alright, alright.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
October 11th 2009


8357 Comments


great review Conor. Aah you bring back memories, i listened to a lot of Alice Cooper while i was a littel kid. Funny thing is though that i know when i listened to the albums Trash, Billion Dollar Babies, Brutal Planet and Greatest Hits, but I DID listen to some other stuff/albums by him as well, but as that other stuff was pirated (the aforementioned 4 aren't), i have no idea today what these albums might have been.

Nag - get Trash or Billion Dollar Babies. Or better yet, get them both.

Douchebag
October 11th 2009


3624 Comments


Great review, Love this guy! has anyone else here seen him live?

LepreCon
October 12th 2009


4093 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I've yet to see him live Alligator but he is very high on my 'To see' list!

Thanks for all the pos's and feedback, guys. Killer review should be up sometime this week, college and room painting are taking up a lot of my time though!

theBlackWidow
July 4th 2010


465 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This album is one of Alice's best albums!! It was the time when Alice became Alice...if that makes sense...haha.

Anyways...great review, I was very happy to see this album at a good rating!!! And it


shouldn't be Vince on vocals....it's supposed to be Alice Cooper :O lol

LepreCon
July 5th 2010


4093 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks.
Aye but his real name is Vincent Furnier



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